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Grade
8

Walk

 

Watt stared at the shutters that covered the whole front wall. Rust creeping around the edges that has been exposed to the outside. He leaned against a massive fan with only a sheet of grated metal in between that made his back hurt. A slight shock from one of the wires on either side of Watt snapped him out of his daydream with a start. The shutters opened. Watt got up and ran to the edge, wondering what he will see this time, but a death defying shock sprung Watt into action to strike his walking pose. The Red Hand had taken control of Watts body to make sure Watt kept his place. Watt knew struggling was useless so he used every ounce of energy to divert his eyes to the outside. Three people were walking across a street: a couple wearing beanies and scarves with matching red skinny jeans and plain white shirts. The third person is a teenage boy, wearing a brown skateboard shirt and jeans with a pair of headphones on. It was just as Watt was starting to absorbe the information of the outside when the shutters closed and the red hand stopped "The Buzzkill" as Watt called it now. Awestruck from the release of pain and the outside world he stumbled back and fell on the hard metal ground in his black box,his home. He knew how to regain his mental footing by now though. It was to do a memory check. He could not remember last time he slept, ate, or ever felt any need to for that matter. He recalled every memory of the outside until his mind was mush.

Watts life.

He knew not when it started but he knew that nothing has ever changed. The shutters had no pattern only a warning sound of a few faint beeps.He knew The Red Hand could destroy him at any moment. The Buzzkill was the most painful experience Watt had ever known. Watt knew he would stop at nothing to break free from his solitary confinement . Feeling refreshed, he tried sleeping. No use, Watt always felt energized and never sleepy. Knowing he has to accept this fact frustrated him, He punched and kicked the walls around him until the Red Hand zapped him to make him shut up. This is the cycle of Watts life. It has been for as long as he could remember. It was so repetitive that Watt had almost given up hope for change. So he focused on the one thing that did change...the outside. Every person, animal, building, and tree was branded into Watts brain. These glimpses of another world of freedom gave him small amounts of hope.

 

Watt hung from a hammock he made from the wires all around. It was comfortable and he still got a breeze from the back fan. It was a normal day. Having all the same emotions bundled in his head each pounding to be released: anger, sadness, anguish, and boredom. He heard the faint sound of a few beeping noises and knew he would have to go to the shutters soon. He got up, stood in front and made his pose. The shutters opened and before he processed all surrounding of the outside he heard his favorite sound. A slight "pat" sound above him. Then another, and another, and another, then a shower of raindrops started falling outside and above him. Watt waited until the shutters closed, and then celebrated by running around and dancing (if you can call it dancing). He loved rain. The sound *sput-unk* on the hard metal roof above him calmed him, got rid of that constant buzz that feels like he drank 3 cups of coffee half an hour ago. Watt thinks that The Red Hand likes it too, because the shocks are always a little less painful in the rain. What felt to Watt like 2 hours later, the rain was not leaving or getting any better, Watt was trying to stay positive but was getting scared. Thunderstorms could be coming soon. With thunder came lightning. Watt only had one experience with lighting, and it has terrified him ever since. The steel statue that was noticeable on the left when the shutters opened, had been struck by lightning last season. The lightning crumbled parts of the statue and severely injured a girl leaning under it to cover herself from the rain. Watt heard a week later after the incident by two teenage boys walking by that she had nearly died. This is what terrified Watt. At that moment, almost to taunt him, he heard thunder. This continued and Watt put his hands over his ears and wrapped himself in his wire hammock. About an hour later, Watt had given up worrying and just sat and listened. Hoping for the best but expecting the worst. Then it happened. A shock the Red Hand was not capable of. It covered every cell in his body and it felt like a thousand little needles stabbing him and injecting poison at the same time. Watt stumbled on the floor feeling dead inside. Then it was silence. Nothing but the rain. No fan, no buzzing of wires, no sound of gears turning behind the walls. Nothing.

Watt laid there, Overcome with terror.  Ten minutes later but what felt like ten years, Watt got up. He explored everything in his black box. Everything was there, but nothing was running. Watt went to the last thing he had not explored in his room. The shutters.

 

He touched them and felt the bitty cheap primer and rust. He stared around his room, looked at the wires... looked at the shutters, and thought of an idea. He grabbed every wire and tied them all together creating a long rope, tying it to the grated metal on the back wall, he made his running pose facing the front shutters. Then, he ran and body slammed the shutters with every particle of energy in his body. Like a twig, the shutter wall snapped off and both he and the shutters started falling to the ground. It was at this point Watt realized how high up he really was and braced for impact. The wires reached their end right before Watt was going to hit the ground and broke. Watt fell for the final stretch in what felt like slo-motion, he slammed into the ground on hard pavement. Watt knew the wires saved him but the pain was overwhelming and he just closed his eyes and laid there, until he realized he was in the world. The world he had been memorizing and admiring his whole lifetime but always thought he could never reach. He was outside.

 

He opened his eyes at the torrential rain that was beating down all around him. He got up, no longer scared as curiosity had taken its place. It was only now he realized how small he was. Everything else was so big. The buildings went up to the sky and past the clouds. He was only as big as a flower. There are two cars, A red hatchback and a black Buick. One man sat under an awning smoking a cigarette with tattered jeans and what use to be a leather jacket, but now was more like a patched up trash bag. Though everywhere was dark with the sun nowhere to be found, only a faint glow coming the sky to make things visible. A construction truck down the street added a faint orange lighting from its  flashing beacon. Some five people were moving around in a dramatic fashion shouting rude words. Watt was overcome with it all. Keeping out of sight, he crept his way closer and closer. Farther and farther from his little black box. Eventually he got close enough to hear what they were saying. He crossed the street and snuck up to the wall right around the corner so he would be out of sight.

 

"I just don't get it!" He heard one of them say in a thick American accent, "We're just trained to solve minor stuff" murmurs of agreement echoed. One person, with a high pitched voice sounding like American was not his first language says "I WASN'T TRAINED FOR ANYTHING!" Slightly louder murmurs of agreement. Watt was stunned and scared at the same time, the rain had slowed down, but not much. "You know what, screw it boys, we'll come back later with the cavalry", a man says in an authoritative voice. "But Steve! They said they would fire us if we didn't get this done! It's a whole grid that's down, we can't just leave" says a woman who clearly felt confident."Well you fix it than!" Says the frustrated American worker.

 

At this point Watt was caught up in the tension and decided he had to look. All the 5 men were leaning against the truck, all either looking frustrated or nervous. The woman, younger looking than the men, with her hair in a bun, a small nose and well proportioned face was fiddling with the line inside a circuit board of a street lamp. This was it for 4 minutes until she cursed and stormed off into the van. Steve says angrily "of all the lamp posts, lightning hits the one with the main circuit board!". The men, all with frustrated looks, got in and started the car engine. Exhaust fumed out and made a low growl. The tires screeched and sped down the road. Watt slowly creeped out from behind the wall and walked to the lamp post. He looked up the pole and saw the entry way that they were fiddling with. A single wire hung out the hole reaching just to his height. It was too tempting. He climbed it. He hopped inside to find himself in a tornado of mixed wires. A green circuit board with switches and warning signs in the middle of it. It reminded Watt too much of his black box and he wanted to leave. He figured he had put all this effort into getting up here he might as well try. He flicked one switch. Sparks flew from a wire and a beeping noise started. The switch was instantaneously shut back off. He looked around him, now feeling similar confusion as the workers. Then he saw 2 wires that both were red. The copper wire exposed at the ends. He had to climb a little to get one of the wires and then he grabbed the other. He touched the two copper wire ends together.  A satisfying buzz sound came. Watt got a rush of confidence and continued to maintain the contact between the copper ends. Slight sparks! He then took his hand and was going to twist the remaining coppers together but when his hand touched the both coppers from each wire he felt a rushing sensation. Like pieces of his body was running away in all different directions. Each pixel leaving. Watt couldn't let go. He felt a slight prick of pain and then...nothing. Watt just disappeared. He was no longer.

The power came back on.

The rain soon stopped.

In that moment, Watt gave his life, all his energy, he gave the people power.

To this day on the corner of Woodward Avenue and Jefferson Avenue in Detroit Michigan the crosswalk sign will only show a red hand and never a walking man.

State
MI - Michigan
Zip Code
48105